ROCKPORT, Maine — Members of the grounds crew at Camden Hills Regional High School often have a unique additional duty when preparing fields for an upcoming game.
They must shift several small sets of portable bleachers from one field to another to provide seating for that day’s contests.
“We’re always moving around bleachers with a tractor for just about every event,” said Camden Hills athletic administrator Steve Alex. “Every game’s a real lot of work to prepare because of that.”
School officials are hoping to provide a more permanent solution to that situation with a $175,000 fundraising effort to install bleacher seating for 650 and a press box at the school’s primary outdoor venue, Don Palmer Field.
“The school now is 14 years old, and it’s just long overdue,” said Alex. “Everything else is really, really nice, but where we’re lacking is good seating for our guests and our fans.”
Modest seating is provided at Don Palmer Field, which is the game site for the school’s soccer, lacrosse, track and field and football teams. Typically many fans simply stand behind the fence surrounding that venue to watch the competition.
“By doing this not only will it improve conditions for those teams but it will improve the surrounding fields like the field hockey-softball field and our baseball-JV soccer field because we can take what limited [bleacher] resources we have and shift them to those fields.”
Plans for the project call for the press box to be situated on top of a storage building for athletic equipment to be built immediately behind the bleachers on the home side of the field.
Alex said he anticipates as a cost-saving measure that the school may seek to get materials donated or at cost for the press box-storage building and build it in-house.
Interested persons may donate to the effort in several ways.
Students are selling inscribed bricks that will be placed on a “Victory Lane” walkway that will lead from the school to the new seating area.
Also available are naming rights to various parts of the project.
“You could sponsor a row of bleachers, you could sponsor a section, you could sponsor the whole thing if you’re lucky enough to be able to have those resources,” said Alex.
Monetary donations of any amount also will be accepted, including diamond (at least $10,000), gold ($5,000), silver ($1,000) and bronze ($150) levels.
“I’m really looking forward to the day that it all comes together, because it will really be the last piece of the infrastructure of Camden Hills High School that needs to be completed,” said Alex. “Everything else out here is really top-notch and we just need to finish this last part.”
More information is available at www.camdenhillscommunitybleacherproject.com.